Buenos Aires & Iguazu Falls

Old Jan 21st, 2020, 01:49 PM
  #1  
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Buenos Aires & Iguazu Falls

Hello Fodorites: We are planning to stay 3 days in Buenos Aires after departing from a cruise in early January 2021 and then visiting Iguazu Falls for 2 or 3 days after that before returning to the US. Do you have any suggestions on the best area to stay in Buenos Aires. We've read to stay in Recoleta or Palermo in BA. How easy is it to get around to the tourist sites if staying in these areas? Any recommendations on hotels?

Do you have any recommendations on places to stay in Iguazu Falls outside the park? How easy is it to arrange transport from the hotel to the park if staying outside the park?

Thank you for any feedback.
Karen

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Old Jan 21st, 2020, 09:16 PM
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As you have already determined, most tourists stay in Recoleta or Palermo, although there are several Palermos - we usually stay in Palermo Soho. I can’t recommend any hotels as we have always stayed in apartments. However, if there on a Sunday, do try brunch at the Alvear Palace in Recoleta, not far from the cemetery, one of the key sights in BA. Our Poerteño friend avrooster took us there a few years ago and it was amazing. Click on my screen name for a trip report.

It is very easy to arrange transport to both sides of the falls. The first time we used public transport which was straightforward and cheap. if you want to do that, would stay close to the bus station in downtown PI. the second time we visited we took some friend and decided on hiring a car and driver for the duration. We did this via our hotel. I can’t recall daily rate but it wasn’t expensive. Our driver would take us to both sides of the falls and either wait for us or come back to pick us up at a prearranged time and place. it worked well and was very convenient. He also took us back to the airport and shopping to the supermarket when one day, when we had had enough of restaurant food, we wanted to play gaucho and cook huge chunks of meat on the Asado.

There are a huge array of places to stay at all levels, including a couple of places in the parks. we stayed in a basic hostal called Marco Polo near the bus station - pleasant enough but we were the oldest there by far, probably a factor of x3! Cant recall the name of the other place but it was a bit too far out of the centre for restaurants. with regard to restaurants, there are a lot in PI but they get very booked up. worth deciding where you want to eat and reserving a table in advance.

In terms of seeing the parks, there is loads of stuff online about the best way to do it. Basically, IMO, you need to spend two nights there. Definitely see both the Brazil and Argentina sides. The Brazilian falls require a min half a day, the Argentine falls, a full day. if you want to do boat or helicopter trips, book in advance. for details of how we did it, photo etc. have a look at our travel blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/2016/09...er-everywhere/ not saying its the best way or indeed the correct way but it worked for us.

Which way around you do it can depend on your flight timings. I wouldn’t say one side is better than the other. The Argentine side allows you to get up very close to the falls. the Brazilian side is more about the panoramas.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2020, 06:09 AM
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I really liked the Duque in Palermo Soho. However, that was 2012, so I checked. Back then it was #1 on TA, now it is #11.:: Duque Hotel Boutique & Spa :: Buenos Aires • Bed & Breakfast Buenos Aires Hotels Palermo Soho ::

I thought that three nights were needed for the falls, one full day for each side, although the Brazilian side does take less time. I slept on the Argentinian side and used public transport.

For my photos of the falls see: https://kwilhelm.smugmug.com/Travel/...Iguazu-Brazil/

and: https://kwilhelm.smugmug.com/Travel/...a-2012/Iguazu/
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Old Jan 22nd, 2020, 09:21 AM
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Crellston & thursdaysd: Thank you so much for your feedback. This is definitely helpful. I will check out your blog and photos.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2020, 05:19 PM
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crellston & thursdaysd: Just finished looking at pics of the falls. Wow, great photos.
crellston: I so admire you and your husband for becoming nomads. Sounds like an exciting life.
thursdaysd: Thank you for the hotel recommendation in BA. It looks great and we will book it!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2020, 10:20 PM
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TK "I so admire you and your husband for becoming nomads” , many thanks but I am the husband! . A word of clarification re 2 v 3 night in Iguazu. if you can get an early flight in and/or a late afternoon flight out. You could visit Brazil on your day of arrival or departure. The Argentine side does take longer so I would definitely do that on your one full day there. Three nights is great and will allow you to take more time but, I would ensure that you spend the night of your departure in BA, especially before an international flight as domestic flights are notoriously erratic. last time there Aerolineas rescheduled and redirected our flights to Iguazu at least six times in as many months.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2020, 04:02 AM
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I agree with Crellston (Mr. Crellston...jaja) above. Even his suggestion on the brunch at the Alvear Palace in Recoleta.

As to Iguazzu Falls, we stayed in town at the St. George and it was nice. It was just across from the bus station and/or easy access to reasonable taxis to either side of the Falls.

We found that 2 nights were perfect to see both sides (and the Bird Park) but we didn’t go to the Missions. I do believe strongly that one should sleep on the side that one will depart from: too many airline changes/cancellations to worry about transport back before a departing flight.

Excellent blogs and photos above. Enjoy this incredible experience.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2020, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by crellston View Post
TK "I so admire you and your husband for becoming nomads” , many thanks but I am the husband! .
So sorry Mr. Crellston. I shouldn't have assumed it was Mrs. C.

Thanks again for the advice about the flights. When we travel in Europe we always stay in the city we are departing from the night before our flight because of possible delays, so we would plan to stay in BA the night before we leave. And we will definitely check out Alvear Palace in Recoleta based on yours and MarnieWDC's recommendations.

MarnieWDC: Thank you for the feedback and recommendation on the St. George. We will check it out!
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Old Jan 24th, 2020, 12:52 AM
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No problem Karen. I am in touch with my feminine side
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Old Jan 24th, 2020, 07:38 AM
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I do believe strongly that one should sleep on the side that one will depart from: too many airline changes/cancellations to worry about transport back before a departing flight.

Depends where you're headed. We didn't stay on the Argentina side even though we were flying there (although we usually do). Our flight wasn't until 8 p.m. (back to Buenos Aires, where we were then staying for 5 nights, so no biggie if we missed the plane). We spent 3 nights at the Belmond on the Brazil side (arrived early afternoon, spent the next day on the Argentina side of the falls, and the third day on the Brazil side (and at the hotel's beautiful pool). It's a fabulous luxury hotel, and not that expensive compared to prices in San Francisco or London.

In Buenos Aires we stayed in Palermo Soho - our hotel was okay (trendy boutiquey, but nothing special). We did absolutely love our dinner at Don Julio -- do make reservations -- the wait was two hours when we finished our meal. Oh, and if you're not big eaters, SHARE!! (We also ate at La Choza and the steak wasn't even in the same universe )
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Old Jan 24th, 2020, 08:00 AM
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I would second sf7307 recommendation of Don Julio and the need to book. Excellent steak and the grilled provolone was sublime.The queues were so long when we were eating there they took out free appetisers to those waiting! We also ate at La Choza and also had a great meal there, although it lacked the atmosphere of Don Julio. Fervor is another place worth investigating, although I haven’t been for a very long time. Last time in Palermo we met up with an Argentine friend from when we lived in Andaluśia who is ( or at least , was ) the sommelier at Trova Bar de Vinos which was a great place for sampling a few vintages and tapas.


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Old Jan 24th, 2020, 08:09 AM
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Regarding sharing at Don Julio -- as I said, we are not big eaters, and often share an entree. So we shared a salad, an entree, a baked potato and vegetable, and a dessert. Two men sat down next to us and were served their first course -- a huge amount of sweetbreads. Then they were served a large steak each. I leaned over and said "that's why we share" and smiled - they laughed, and agreed It was an insane amount of food, but at least it wasn't very expensive.
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Old Jan 24th, 2020, 12:27 PM
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We stayed in Recoleta at Melia Boutique Recoleta Plaza a block from the Alvear Palace. We loved this small hotel in Juan Peron’s former villa. We were originally in a downtown hotel and for many reasons, including safety, we moved to Recoleta. Fabulous restaurants in walking distance from Melia Recoleta Plaza..
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Old Jan 25th, 2020, 09:54 AM
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Thank you all for your recommendations. We will definitely look at booking reservations for the recommended restaurants. We are going to be there early Jan 2021 and are finding many hotels already booked!

HappyTrvlr: We checked the Melia and it is booked up the entire month of January 2021 until the last week in Jan. This is unbelievable.

We were able to find a room at the Duque as recommended by thursdaysd by booking directly with the hotel. I think we will book that soon based on what I'm seeing on hotel availability.
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Old Jan 25th, 2020, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by sf7307 View Post
Regarding sharing at Don Julio -- as I said, we are not big eaters, and often share an entree. So we shared a salad, an entree, a baked potato and vegetable, and a dessert. Two men sat down next to us and were served their first course -- a huge amount of sweetbreads. Then they were served a large steak each. I leaned over and said "that's why we share" and smiled - they laughed, and agreed It was an insane amount of food, but at least it wasn't very expensive.
We had a similar experience when we took some friends to La Choza. For a change, I ordered a "vaccio" - aka skirt steak in England, where it is considered a cheap cut. It was delicious! My wife ordered the fillet and got not one, but THREE normal size fillet steaks. Even the salads were enormous.

A word to the wise TravellerKaren, don’t even think of ordering a starter or touching the bread!
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